The West Ranch girls soccer team capped off a historic season this past week, and despite a tough 3-0 second-round playoff loss to Etiwanda, there were plenty of positives for head coach Eric White.
Despite an abbreviated season, White was impressed with how well the team came together, how the group earned its first Foothill League title and the promise of the program’s future.
Coming into the season, Eric White, who’s aided by his brother, assistant coach Jared White, said the brothers knew they had a talented group returning from a team that had finished in the top two or three teams for the past few years.
“You always talk about it as a coach, but it’s rare when it happens: They — one through 21 — all want the same thing and they are excited to be a part of it,” Eric White said before the team’s first-round playoff win last week. “The role players know their roles and the starters know what their roles are, and they just kind of took off with it, so it’s been a really fun year.”
Led by captains Leanna Kane, Rachel Watler and McKenna Lium, the team enjoyed a number of highlights throughout the season, including their avenging of a 2-2 tie with previous league champion Hart early in the season with a 2-1 over the Indians on April 23. The scoring duties were helped in large part by Olivia Suarez, who finished with eight goals on the season, and Cassidy Imperial Pham, who finished with six goals in 10 league games.
After wrapping up a Foothill League title, the West Ranch High girls soccer team started its playoff run last Wednesday with a 1-0 win over Yorba Linda.
The team’s stingy defense was led all season by Watler, Natalie Link, Kennedy Desser, Kaelin Pierchalki and Summer Hahn, White noted.
White said he told the team on Senior Night how proud he was of them in overcoming the adversity they’ve had, not just in the season, but throughout the school year, as well.
“It shows a lot of mental toughness, about the girls, across the league, and for our girls … the ability to kind of band together and get out there. It was an extremely weird year, but Jared and I were just extremely happy for them … just couldn’t be more proud of them.”